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“Not worth the price”

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Kapolei
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Not worth the price”
Reviewed 30 April 2014

This property is really nice. The pools, infinity pool, water slides, snorkeling pool and Aunty's Beach House are really nice. But at the end of the day I left with a feeling that I did not get value for money. I am sure there are other resorts in Oahu which offer similar facilities at lesser prices. Food is really really expensive. It is cheaper to walk across to the strip mall and eat. There are Disney characters in the restaurants but the lines are long. The staff really don't go out of the way to make you comfortable. I had dropped my iPhone in water and wanted a little bit of rice and they said it would cost me $10!! If your room is over looking the pool, its really noisy till 11pm.
To put it in a nut shell not worth the prices!!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Irajan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Jannali, Australia
Level Contributor
136 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2014

Three of us(all adults) spent 2 nights here recently in a one bedroom villa, which was excellent,and enjoyed many things about the resort, and the shoreline nearby.The 2 slides were a lot of fun, one linking to a wonderful drift down the "lazy river".There were also a number of pools which were OK,a big fish talk which had snorkelling at a ridiculous cost of $15,some canoes and paddleboards for hire in the lagoon.There are actually 4 lagoons and a fantastic walking/running track leading 2km North from Aulani.
The Disney characters were ever-present and great to be around,especially at the buffet breakfast which also had other excellent entertainment for the children.I thought the other food options were a bit expensive,including the $43 buffet dinner(plus tax and tip) and we ate dinner at the Marriott next door which was a much better option.
The main complaint I had was about the staff, which unfortunately is an important part of a hotel stay.Once we told the people at the front we wanted to park our own car, they directed me to a spot in the rain to unload and were not very friendly or helpful.The staff on the front desk were polite but not too well-informed, giving us incorrect information about the dinner buffet, and even called my Australian number to tell me my room was ready(i got the message when I returned home),even though they had my US cell number.I had no communication whatsoever from Aulani once I made my initial booking and deposit, no welcome letter and the girl at check-out did not even ask how I enjoyed my stay.Most other employees were friendly, but some appeared bored and had forced smiles, not what I would expect from a Disney Resort.
This is a great place to go at least once, but they really need to look at making it more affordable and work on their employee relations.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DerekHulme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
43 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2014

I live about 20 minutes away. We made some short trips before, but never stayed overnight until recently. This area has some of my favorite beach/dive spots on the island.
We booked the cheapest room we could get with local rates - even so, everything was really top-notch. Furnishings in the room were high quality everywhere. Don't forget to look for hidden Mickeys. The pool area was an incredible hit with my 5 year old daughter, but there are plenty of watersport options out in the lagoon for teens and adults. I love the walking trail that starts near here and weaves around all the lagoons down Ko'Olina's beach - 3 miles round trip I think. Also a great place to watch the sunset each night. Dining at the restaurants wasn't too expensive, actually a little cheaper than I expected. Lots of options from grab-and-go picnic fare to nicer dining and family style. Character breakfast is a must if you have little ones - make your reservations at the same time as your room booking. Don't worry if the kids really eat or not - just take your time and have fun! There are activities throughout the day to break up the routine if you're just hanging at Aulani the whole time, but the things we did at night on the big lawn were the best. The staff here does a good job of creating an ohana feel to things.
Please don't come to Oahu and only do Aulani though. So much more to do on the island that is truly Hawaiian. Personally I like to hit Waikiki the best, but that is a totally different vibe. If you have the time, and aren't going to kill yourself running all over the rest of the island, this place is really great if you have children and want some time to just be together as a family.
I'm sure others have mentioned there's not a lot more to do in this general area, but a new Target and Wal-Mart are nearby if you need stuff. If you're a diver you could probably book a beach dive from "Electric Beach" with a dive shop and meet them in the parking lot about 10 minutes from here. Wet-n-Wild is also about 10 minutes away. If you just want a break from Aulani or a stroll in the evening, there are a few restaurants, ice cream shop, and a small market within walking distance.

Room Tip: This place is a little like going on a cruise. You're not going to hang out in the room - that...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank drewrunsoahu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South OC, CA, USA
Level Contributor
53 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2014 via mobile

I won a Disneyland Trip for four from KLOS Los Angeles in 2013 and was fortunate to also be the lucky drawing winner of a trip for four to Disney's Aulani! Our family of six visited in January of 2014 and our stay of four nights was glorious!

We arrived to a friendly team of valets who immediately made us feel welcome and appreciated... The trip only got better from there! From the Lobby Welcome person to the front desk, and from the cleaning staff to the restaurant and pool team, everyone was warm and friendly.

Our trip package included a room for four with two comfy queen beds, we paid about $325/nt for an adjoining King room... Yes, expensive but still somewhat competitive with the rates at the other Ko Olina cove JW and Marriott Vacation Villas, especially considering that Aulani had the premier kids pools, lazy river and water slides. We chose to spend the days cove-side, as our kids are all teenagers/early twenties and it was much more relaxing down there.

Our "routine" was to eat at Ulu Cafe for breakfast and have a light lunch, if any. Never ate at any of the Aulani restaurants for dinner, as we were still on a budget. Good thing is that there was Longboards at Marriott south of Aulani, and also some restaurants across the street and behind the hotel with more reasonable prices including pizza, a taco place and Monkey Pod.

Make sure to make the trek north of JW on the rocky/sandy beach access to a cove about a half mile away that had visiting seals and turtles... A highlight of our vacation!

We also visited Hanauma Bay NE of Honolulu ( plan a whole day there, as it's about $8 per person, with great snorkeling ); hiked to the top of Diamond Head ( bring lots of water and good shoes ); and visited Pearl Harbor as well, also a must-see for families.

Our first three nights reservation prior to these four nights was at Wyndham Beach Walk, which cost the same as one room here at Aulani but provided a 2 bedroom / 2 bath condo with room for six... A much better value and in the center of it all in Waikiki. This will probably be our destination if we're fortunate enough to go to Hawaii again... Not to discount the beauty, elegance, and laid-back relaxation that Aulani treated us to. Dear Aulani, please save us our six favorite chairs one the south front row cove-side! It's probably the best place we've ever been!

Stayed January 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank bonesting69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, TX
Level Contributor
216 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2014

We really enjoyed our stay at Aulani. We were there 4 nights mid March. The non weekend days were really nice because it was not crowded at all and we had our run of the resort. Even on the weekend though we could still easily find a chair poolside or on the beach.

We booked an "Island Garden View" room and what this means is you overlook the front of the hotel above floor 5. They tried to put us on the 6th floor which pretty much overlooks the parking lot and I refused. I had no idea that's what "island garden" meant. They did promptly change us to floor 14 however if you looked out still on balcony. So would i pay the difference between standard and island garden...no. The balcony is so tiny you don't want to be out there anyway and I would not let my children out there either.

The rooms are clean. Clean. Clean. Very nice for a kids hotel! I've stayed on property at several Disney resorts in Orlando and could not say the same so I was very impressed with how clean everything was.

The beach aka "cove" is very well kept. Perfect for our kids to play and not get knocked over by the waves. It was absolutely fabulous. To the left there is a wedding chapel and the beach is public although not busy. We saw a wedding dress every day on the beach which was fun for the boys. The chairs and the umbrellas the resort provides are fabulous, as is the service. Again, everyone has a smile and great customer service.

We booked the character breakfast. I'm a huge fan. My boys, ages 5, loved it. This is a great way to see the characters and not have to do the scheduled meet and greets.

My boys also visited the kids club and it was great as well. Everyone is always friendly, smiling, eager to please. The customer service at this resort is phenomenal, as is the staff.

Our favorite snacks at the hotel were the shaved ice, mickey mouse shaped ice cream sandwiches, and mickey mouse shaped chocolate dipped vanilla ice cream bars. Bought every day. I thought the best casual to-go menu was actually beachside...they had a california roll, fresh sliced pineapple, nachos, etc. We had a burger poolside and it was decent, as were the fries. The food was not as expensive as I thought it would be (casual food). However, we did forgo the expensive restaurants so I cannot comment on them.

The next exit on the highway there is everything under the sun you could want. Costco, lots of places to eat, etc. Two exits up even more. We ate at a really yummy fresh food place called Aloha Salads and then returned 3 times because it was so good. They have fresh salads, wraps, sandwiches, etc. and are super affordable.

We did the snorkeling at Rainbow Reef and we would do it again for sure. Well worth the price for your entire stay. We had our own equipment but they will supply for free when you purchase. The staff is very patient and will help the kids get everything on. My 5 year olds do not know how to swim and snorkeled just fine. My "scared" 5 year old used the little blue life jacket from the pool which made him feel more secure. My brave one used the snorkeling one.

My only huge complaint is the towels you get poolside sometimes had mildew smell and so when you used them then your skin would smell the same. I started getting 6 instead of 4 (what we needed) and would smell them first before I would use.

Having just come from a beautiful hotel in Maui (Grand Wailea..the grounds are breathtaking) it was really hard to compare the two. This was more "convention center" type carpet and rooms, although beautiful and Hawaii themed. Had we stayed here first our review might have been a bit higher. We expected the same of Aulani (beauty wise) and although they have tons of greenery around the pools the grounds were a bit unimpressive. For this reason, the towels and for the lack of "Disney" feel I am giving it 4.5 stars. I will say we would definitely return if ever on Oahu again.

Things not to miss on Oahu if you do daytrips:
- The night show at The Polynesian Cultural Center called "Ha"...you'll never see anything better!
- The cocoa puffs at Liliha Bakery
- Diamond Head (start in morning so not hot sun)
- Lighthouse Point (even if you just drive and park it...gorgeous)
- Eat at Giovanni's North Shore
- Eat at Papa Ole's in Laie
- Science Center at Bishop Museum (for kids...only if time but ours loved it...other buildings not so much for their age)

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank TexasGingerbread
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mililani, Hawaii
Level Contributor
77 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014

We live on Oahu and didn't hesitate to buy in to the membership being offered at a great kamaaina rate. We have had zero regrets since then. The property is beautiful and offers lots to do for the whole family. They've made great improvements on their food offerings and quality since opening in Oct. 2011.

Staff service is very good and the rooms are spacious and reminiscent of Hawaiian days of yore with a modern touch. This resort is great for the entire family. Don't forget to visit the concierge and ask to see their book of Disney pins for those of you who trade 'em like us!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank DirectorofOps400
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mississauga, Ontario
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2014

We were not travelling with young children and still had an amazing time. We've stayed at the resorts in Disneyland, Disney World and this was the best overall weekend we've ever had.

Location is about a half hour drive west of the airport but it's very direct to get there. Ko'olina is a very nice, safe / upscale neighborhood.

Pools, Spa, service - top notch. Get a massage & spend hours enjoying the amenities - the spa will blow your mind.

We had a garden villa (?), facing the coast to the west & overlooking the spa. It's like living in a 2 bedroom, 3 bath condo apartment. Almost everything you could possibly need!

Just a note on the weather, if you're used to Caribbean resorts - the weather is very different in this part of Oahu & i *loved* it. Disney was smart to put the resort on the south west corner of Oahu. In Hawaii the north shores tend to get the most rain / cloudy weather. All 7 days of our trip were almost identical, sunny, very little cloud - had a couple of sprinkles in the evening but they were brief. So it's not like going to Cancun or Cuba where it rains everyday in the afternoon. Also doesn't feel very humid because of the constant ocean breezes.

You pay a premium for the Disney experience & attention to detail that's for sure, so be prepared to empty your bank account...but you only live once!

If there is anything i would criticize it would be that the food at the resort restaurants are overpriced and somewhat underwhelming - Ama Ama in particular. It's subjective but we found the menu limited, and the meal & service was overrated. Had a couple of weird service blips where we sat there with no waiter for like 15-20 mins at both Ama Ama & Makahiki dinner buffet but no big deal. Had much more enjoyable & cheaper meals at Monkeypod & Roys (both across the street).

Would absolutely go back!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank drschultz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Property: Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Address: 92-1185 Ali'inui Drive, Kapolei, Oahu, HI 96707-4434
Region: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Kapolei
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Kapolei
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 819
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Also Known As:
Aulani, a Disney Resort And Spa In Hawai`i
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa In Hawai`i Hotel Kapolei
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Hawaii/Oahu

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